So, as the lady at my fish market was chasing after my runaway lobster (the little bugger attempted a brazen escape by jumping off the scale and scurrying under the counter) she commented that she had been seeing an awful lot of me lately;-)
It’s true, while the poor fish chapter may have felt a bit neglected in the past, it is now getting quite a workout.
First up, I am catching up with last week’s Vanilla-Braised Lobster recipe. I’ll admit right up front, this New England girl LOVES lobster, but I don’t get to eat a lot of it since moving across the pond because it is even crazier expensive here than in the States. Dorie’s recipe was the perfect excuse to splurge, and not just on the price; three blocks of butter and 2 vanilla beans rounded out this exotic dish! I took her advice and served the braised lobster on a bed of sautéed spinach. What can I say, it was Absolutely Delicious! My husband said that Dorie had redeemed herself after the aspic fiasco:-)
Two of my favorite stores in Paris, E.Dehillerin and G.Detou, are within easy walking distance of each other. On our last trip I dragged my husband along to both and purchased some pistachio oil and baking chocolate at Detou before heading over to Dehillerin to wander aimlessly up and down the cluttered aisles, all the while wishing that my suitcases were bigger. After an hour or so my husband got antsy and dragged me up to the checkout counter, clutching my sole purchase, a new food mill. Both stores have a rather arcane check out process which involves two separate counters. At the first counter, checkout guy #1 rings up your wares and provides you with a bill, which you then bring to a second counter, so that checkout guy #2 can collect your money and give you a receipt, which you then bring back to #1 to collect your goods. In any case, #2 was apparently feeling feisty that day because he asked me where I lived and looked quite surprised when I told him that I live in Germany. I’m guessing it’s the accent. “Really?” he asked, “Germany? Well, nobody’s perfect.”
Having only used the food mill once since then, I was admittedly confused and more than a little skeptical when I pulled it out for this week’s recipe, Riviera Fish Soup. Dorie assures us that it can puree an entire fish (bones, skin and all!), as does the YouTube promotional guy who asks, “Did you ever want to puree fruits or vegetables, but you didn’t want to drag out the big food processor, or clean it up later?” Certainly sounds promising.
Well, let me be blunt, YouTube guy lies! Yes, the food processor is not that much fun to clean, but at least it keeps the mess contained. The food mill, on the other hand, produced possibly one of the bigger messes that my little kitchen has ever seen. It took quite some effort to get the whole batch of soup worked through and my husband had to take over early on as I apparently lack the requisite elbow power to get it done. Afterwards I had to give my kitchen a thorough scrub to remove all the bits which had flown about. Days later I was still finding remnants which I somehow missed the first time over.
So, right, the soup. It was delicious, but it felt like quite a journey to get it made and I have decided that this is one dish which is better to order in a restaurant. Luckily I had a few glasses of Pastis to help me through it!